A classic caladium with snow-white, heart-shaped leaves and dark green veins. Candidum is especially dazzling in deep shade and by moonlight when the leaves are almost luminous. For best results, grow this variety in full to partial shade.
Caladiums are beautiful natives of the South American Rain Forests. With their brilliant colors in fascinating designs, & large heart-shaped leaves, they've become landscape favorites, especially since they are perfect for shaded areas.
They're very easy to grow, but you must take care and remember that they are tropical. This means you can't plant your tubers until the ground has warmed up in spring. In the south, that means May. In the midwest and north, it means from mid-May until mid-June.
Great for pots. The cold sensitivity of Caladiums is why they've become big favorites for pots, baskets, and patio planters. If you start them indoors, you can simply put the pots outside once your weather is warm. And in fall, the pots make everything simple. Once your first cold snap wilts the leaves in fall, simply bring your pots inside, let the tops die down, keep them as they are until spring, and put them out again. This is how many northern gardeners grow these beauties.
Spectacular Ground Cover: Many gardeners use these colorful plants as a ground cover for shady areas. (Who says you can't have great color in the shade!) Caladiums around trees or in other shady areas have long been beautiful features of southern gardens, but this technique can work anywhere, as long as you don't put out your plants until your soil is good and warm.
Fancy leaf caladiums require loose, slightly acidic soil for good root growth and are heavy feeders. Before planting, dig in plenty of peat or pine bark to take care of the first two requirements and add a good dose (1 tbs/plant) of 10-10-10 fertilizer. Plant your tubers 2 to 8 inches (5-20 cm.) apart, depending on size. A fancy leaf caladium’s tubers need warm, about 70 degrees F. (21 C.) soil to grow. If the soil is too cool, the bulbs tend to rot.
In order to thrive, the soil conditions should mimic the soil that “angel wings” grow in their native environment; rich, moist, and well-draining. For the best results, mix a form of organic matter into the soil, such as compost.
USDA Zone: 3-10 Season of Interest: Spring, Summer Type: Bulbs Climate: Tropical Wet Life Cycle: Perennial Watering: Medium Genus: Caladium Common Name: Elephant Ear Sunlight: Partial Shade Features: Dwarf Cultivating Difficulty: Very Easy